Focal Therapy With Ultrasound for Prostate Cancer Effective, Causes Few Side Effects, Study Suggests

Focal Therapy With Ultrasound for Prostate Cancer Effective, Causes Few Side Effects, Study Suggests
Focal therapy with high-intensity focused ultrasound is effective in the medium term and rarely causes urinary or rectal side effects in patients with clinically significant localized prostate cancer, a large, multicenter study shows. The study, “A Multicentre Study of 5-year Outcomes Following Focal Therapy in Treating Clinically Significant Nonmetastatic Prostate Cancer,” was published in the journal European Urology. High-intensity focused ultrasound (HIFU) is a new prostate cancer treatment technology, cleared by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration in 2015, that involves the use of high-frequency ultrasound waves to heat and destroy cancer cells in the prostate, leaving the surrounding tissue unharmed. As opposed to performing radiotherapy, surgery, or cryotherapy on the entire prostate gland, HIFU specifically targets only the area containing the tumor, minimizing the chances of damage to surrounding tissues and reducing the probability of side effects such as erectile dysfunction or urinary incontinence. In addition, it also shortens hospital stays. This makes HIFU an appealing treatment option for men whose cancer is limited to the prostate and has not spread to other regions in the body. Despite its potential, studies evaluating the effectiveness and safety of the technique were small, had a short follow-up, or only addressed patients with low-risk disease. Therefore, researchers conducted a larger prospective study to examine the outcomes and secondary effects of HIFU treatment for prostate cancer over a period of five years. The study enrolled 625 patients with clinically significant nonmetastatic prostate cancer who had undergone HIFU using a Sonablate 500 device at one of nine secondary care centers in the U.K. The median follo
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